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7-Business: 94 million acres planted with Monsanto GE crops in 2000

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TITLE:  More biotech acres plantted with Monsanto traits in 2000:
        Monsanto estimates genetically engineered crop acres rose 9%
SOURCE: Bloomberg News, edited and sent by Agnet, Canada
DATE:   October 30, 2000

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More biotech acres planted with Monsanto traits in 2000: Monsanto estimates 
genetically engineered crop acres rose 9%

St. Louis, -- Monsanto Co., the leading developer of genetically engineered 
corn, soybeans and cotton, said the number of acres planted with its bio-
engineered crops rose 9 percent worldwide this year. St. Louis-based 
Monsanto's gene technology was used in seeds planted on 94 million acres, 
up from 86 million acres planted in 1999 [87% of the total 98,6 million GE 
acres, HM], according to estimates, said spokeswoman Scarlett Foster.

The crops are engineered to better withstand Monsanto's Roundup weed killer 
or to produce a natural insecticide. Monsanto sells the technology through 
its own seeds and through licensing agreements to competitors. The increase 
in planting of bio-engineered seeds worldwide runs counter to predictions 
earlier this year that use of the technology would decline. Last June, the 
U.S. Department of Agriculture said farmers were planting fewer acres to 
bio-engineered corn and soybeans in the U.S., where most bio-engineered 
crops are grown. Monsanto said then its sales of bio-engineered seeds would 
be unchanged or increase slightly. Monsanto wouldn't provide a geographic 
breakdown of the planting figures it announced today.

Monsanto's genetically engineered soybeans were planted on 59 million 
acres, up from 54.8 million last year. Plantings of bio- engineered corn 
fell to 19 million acres from 19.3 million; engineered cotton rose to 10.3 
million acres from 7.4 million; and biotech canola rose to 5.4 million 
acres from 4.6 million, Foster said. While plantings of insect-resistant 
corn declined 4 percent, farmers planted more acres of Monsanto's herbicide-
tolerant corn than last year, Foster said. Plantings of soybeans, corn, 
cotton and canola genetically engineered to tolerate Monsanto's top-selling 
Roundup herbicide rose 13 percent, according to estimates.

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